Well we all met in Starbucks in Oswestry to top up before heading up to Lake Vyrnwy. It had rained a little during the night and past week so there was a little bit of water coming over the dam. The river was running through the trees and would probably have been a little challenging. We had run out of coffee by now so decided to run the river Banwy instead. This was a grade lower and proved to be an excellent choice.
The River Banwy is a river about 30 km long in NW Powys in Wales. It is a tributary of the River Vyrnwy. The river rises in the hills near the pass which takes the A458 between Mallwyd and Welshpool. The river is called Nant Cerrig-y-groes at its source near Moel y Llyn
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Start at Llanerfyl. Access to the river in Llanerfyl was on the left bank by a (downstream) road bridge (Please do not park in front of the gate to the field opposite as the farmer is a little bit weary of paddlers blocking access to his land – he will be out like a shot if you do park there, even for a moment). Finish at Meifod on the River Vrynwy. Egress on the right bank at the road bridge (New Bridge).
APPROX LENGTH: 26 km.
TIME NEEDED: Three hours.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs heavy rain. It stays up for a week or so after substantial rain.
GRADING: Grade 1 – 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Approx 1 metre high natural ‘weir’ at Castle mound just short of the River Vyrnwy confluence which can reach grade 3 in flood conditions. This is last rapid on the run as described below. Low branches.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: We use open boats so aim for grade 1 -2! The Banwy was excellent continuous Grade 1 – 2 from Llanerfyl to the River Vyrnwy confluence; top section the best. 26 km in all in about three hours, egress (R bank at road bridge) at Meifod. There is a short upstream section on the River Vyrnwy before reaching the get-out.
Martin, Nikki, Ian, Gareth and Keith